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In England, Two Girls Are Visited By Police For Picking Flowers

Daffodils at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew are in full flower on March 28, 2010 in London, England. i

Daffodils at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew are in full flower on March 28, 2010 in London, England. Oli Scarff/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Oli Scarff/Getty Images
Daffodils at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew are in full flower on March 28, 2010 in London, England.

Daffodils at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew are in full flower on March 28, 2010 in London, England.

Oli Scarff/Getty Images

The Guardian has a story today that marks a curmudgeonly beginning to spring: Police in Poole, England threatened to arrest the parents of two sisters — age four and six — for picking daffodils in a public park. The Guardian reports:

A member of the public reported them to police and two constables attended and advised the girls' mother, Jane Errington, that she and her partner, Marc Marengo, could be arrested for criminal damage.

The couple expressed anger at the "heavy-handed" response and accused police of wasting time.

Errington said the officers watched the family for 20 minutes before speaking to them. She said Sienna had been left too upset to return to the public park, fearing being "taken away by the police".

The Daily Mail reports that the family was just spending a day "enjoying the sun," and the girls had picked about 20 flowers. The man who called the police told the paper the girls had taken "large bunches" of flowers.

"We are very proud of our parks and can't have people ripping up public property," Peter Adams, a member of the town's council, told the paper. "The parents were encouraging them to do it and it is unacceptable. I am a reasonable person and would not have called the police if they were just picking two or three flowers, but this was totally disgraceful."

As it turns out, picking daffodils has gotten at least one other in trouble before. According to an an AP report, a woman in Centralia, Wash. was issued a theft citation in 2009, when she picked the flowers for a sick family member.

According to the story, the woman was arrested after she threw the flowers at at the officer who gave her the citation.

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